Allahu Khaliquna

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

If you're reading this, then you're about to embark on a relatively brief journey through one cycle of my thoughts ("relatively" being the keyword of course). Consider this fair warning.

It starts with the notion of modesty as I learned from the Yemenis. Modesty in its outward form manifests itself as niqab. Yet in one of the first khutbas that I heard at a masjid in Sana'a, the imam spoke about how women in the neighbourhood, despite wearing niqab, adorned their eyes with lavish makeup seeking the obvious attentions of the all-too-attentive men on the streets.

In a country where niqab is the norm, one learns that there is a deeper level to modesty which includes veiling the eyes from conveying meaning. I learnt this lesson quickly as it irked me to find that despite being entirely covered, some men still sought a message from the eyes. 

Eyes are miraculous. They are truly phenomenal. Consider the difference between the sound of laughter and the sight of it in one's eyes. Sometimes cameras capture a sliver of the heart shining in people's eyes that moments can almost be relived soundlessly. Almost. Allahu khaliquna.

I then remembered how Yemeni women did not shy away from beautifying themselves in their homes. One evening, as I sat with the children, the lady of the house came into the room. I looked at her and said, "Wow. Where are you going?" She said, "Nowhere." I smiled and said, "I could get married in that."  I admired her commitment to beautifying herself for those who were worthy of beholding her entire beauty, a beauty that was increased by the mere fact that it wasn't available to any wandering eyes. Allahu khaliquna.

A friend, who I imagine has just married or will be married in a few days inshaAllah (may Allah bless her marriage and grant her and husband righteous offspring and protection from all evils, ameen) mentioned how her fiance suggested that she wear coloured contact lenses. Interestingly, the Yemeni sister also had a pair of blue contact lenses. I personally draw the line of beautification at faking one's eye colour, but each their own. Allahu khaliquna.

My friend embraced her fiance's suggestion for all the reasons that would make her a good wife, mashaAllah. It was nice to to find them in agreement in this regard. I had once asked her about whether they attended the same Islamic lessons. She said they hadn't spoken about it. I was dumbfounded as how they could be agreeing to marry yet they hadn't discussed, what I perceived (or assumed) to be such a large aspect of her life.

It dawned on me today that it is sufficient - for some or even most - to say to each other, "We intend to be a comfort to each other's eyes. We intend to be good to each other and to each other's families. We intend to be good people." If their hearts are inclined, then it is a done deal. The missing link, I find, is what people base those ideas of "good" on and how they plan on persevering in them when things get rough. Perhaps my gross intellectual incompetencies on the topic explains my apparent failure in it. Allahu raziquna.

I will say though, returning to the idea of niqab, that it is a very beautiful thing. There is so much more twirling around in my head about it and this idea of modesty and other things, but alas, this tireless thought must end with one minor insight and not much to show for it. Perhaps it'll be more useful to the reader than the writer. Or not. Allahu karim.

Allahu Khaliquna - Part 2

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"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]